Exclusives

Egypt, oil, OTC, Tarek El-Molla, natural gas, Apache, John Christmann

Hopes are momentum generated will keep the country on companies’ radars despite today’s market conditions.

deepwater, oil, West Africa, production, project, Douglas Westwood, FPSO, Total, Eni, Tullow Oil

But offshore activity is robust today for some companies nearing startup for projects sanctioned before the downturn.

Tullow Oil, Kenya, discovery, oil, Kerio Valley, basin, exploration, Cheptuket, South Lokichar

The discovery could signal another basin opening in East Africa. The Cheptuket-1 well was the first to test oil potential in the Kerio Valley Basin.

Zohr, Eni, Egygpt, offshore, natural gas, Nooros, discovery, appraisal

Eni’s continued exploration success in Egypt comes amid a downturn that has caused some companies to reduce exploration spending.

Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, oil, gas, production, LNG, King & Spalding, Wood Mackenzie, Martin Kelly

Despite low commodity prices and falling budgets, prospects for oil and gas discoveries continue to intrigue in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Deepwater International

Anadarko Petroleum has decided to terminate its charter of the Dolphin Drilling drillship Belford Dolphin in September this year, with the unit currently working for the operator off east Africa’s Mozambique.

The battle to win the contract to design and build a world-class FLNG unit to be used by Eni and its partners on a mega-gas project offshore Mozambique is coming to the boil.

Various subsea equipment will be delivered throughout 2015 and 2016.

UK independent Sterling Energy has had the exploration period for two frontier blocks northwest of Madagascar extended.

The contract is for a firm charter period of 15 years with five yearly extension options exercisable by the client. 

Exploration

Mazarine will seek low cost, low-risk investments in onshore fields in Romania and North Africa, chairman and founder Edward van Kersbergen told Reuters. CIEP acquired Romanian assets in March 2015.

Privately-owned Standard Newspaper quoted the Energy and Petroleum ministry as saying it aimed to hold an auction for the new blocks in 2017.

PA Resources Tunisia Ltd., Hydrocarbures Tunisie Didon Ltd., Hydrocarbures Didon Jersey Ltd. and Hydrocarbures Tunisie Corp., subsidiaries of Sweden’s PA Resources AB, will sell their license interests onshore and offshore Tunisia.

Kosmos holds a 60% interest in the Teranga-1 well; Timis Corp. Ltd. holds 30% and Societe des Petroles du Senegal (Petrosen) has 10%.

ION Geophysical Corp.’s ocean bottom seismic (OBS) company, OceanGeo, is mobilizing its vessels and crew to conduct an OBS survey offshore Nigeria, according to a news release.

Production

The extension of reservoirs in the eastern extent of the SNE Field, more than 5 kilometers (km) to the east and downdip of SNE-3 was confirmed.

The attacks have driven Nigerian oil output to near a 22-year low and, if the violence escalates into another insurgency, it could cripple output in a country facing a growing economic crisis, Reuters reported.

ExxonMobil confirmed on May 13 that it had declared a force majeure—a suspension of deliveries because of events beyond its control –on Nigeria’s Qua Iboe crude oil grade, and that a portion of production had been curtailed.

Another well, BSW-1 (Barakish), was spudded by Petrobel in April to test an analogous, separate reservoir north of Noroos. BP holds 50% stake in Baltim South Development Lease where BSW-1 well is being drilled.

Ophir said it had been unable to complete the deal for its Fortuna project on the terms agreed in January, when it signed a preliminary contract with the world's largest oilfield services provider.

Subsea Engineering

Kosmos Energy said its Ahmeyim-2 appraisal well has successfully delineated the Ahmeyim and Guembeul gas discoveries offshore Mauritania and Senegal, paving the way for an LNG project in the region.

Eni can move to the next stage of its development of the Coral discovery in Area 4 offshore Mozambique after the plan of development was approved by the country’s government.

Anadarko and its partners in Area 1 and Area 4 in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique have signed an unitisation deal for the two blocks to bring development closer.

Engineering and management services company Penspen will be revisiting work it carried out more than 20 years ago after winning an engineering study for the development of a field in the Niger Delta offshore Southern Nigeria.

Statoil is training its sights on eastern and southern Africa as it looks to develop its global exploration portfolio and has taken stakes in blocks off Mozambique and South Africa.

Technology

The two policemen were killed in Delta's Rivers state, a police spokesman said. The soldiers died in an attack in Bayelsa state, the army said, Reuters reported.

Militants recently attacked a Chevron platform in the Delta where tensions are high since authorities issued arrest warrant in January for former militant leader on corruption charges, Reuters reported.

Navy spokesman Chris Ezekobe said the attack occurred about 40 nautical miles from the Escravos terminal, around the southern city of Warri. U.S. energy company Chevron Corp. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tullow will have to reduce annual production forecast due to an ongoing technical issue that shut its flagship Jubilee oil field in Ghana, which will resume production soon, Reuters reported.

OPEC member Algeria seeks more foreign investors for oil and gas production, stagnant for years because of reliance on mature fields and lack of investment in new production, Reuters said.